Maia Fjord is a talented young illustrator studying in Bournemouth, her story is a great one having moved to England in her early years. Inspired by the stories of Tove Jansson and the work of her own illustrative grandmother.
“I’m currently in my second year of an illustration degree at The Arts University Bournemouth, and I feel that my course has really enabled me to explore my practice and provided me with encouragement and inspiration from tutors and fellow students” – Maia Fjord
“Having been raised on Tove Jansson’s Moomin books, I’ve always had a love not only for stories and narratives, but for the illustrations that often accompany them. As a girl, I used to draw endless pictures together with my grandmother, who is also an illustrator. She encouraged me to explore my imagination through art, and to this day imagination and the imagined is often a theme of my work. I believe that imagination is something that can improve the quality of an otherwise dull life, and should be nurtured in children. I spend a lot of my time doodling strange little creatures that pop into my head, and I’ve recently completed a set of illustrations for a children’s book my grandmother wrote in the eighties that centers around a child learning to use her imagination to brighten her daily life.”
“I was born in Denmark and moved to England at the age of eight, and this installed an interest in cultural change and adaptation in me that I frequently explore in my illustrative work. Having a family that’s spaced apart all over the world, I’ve learnt to take a sketchbook with me everywhere I go, drawing anything that interests me and using illustration to pass the time on long journeys. Even today I’m almost always carrying a small sketchbook of some sort to doodle in, and observational drawing is something I feel has really furthered my illustrative practice.
I find inspiration for my work almost everywhere; typically in music or books, but also in the natural world. I really enjoy drawing animals and the human form, and lately I’ve been exploring the concept of the animal inside every person through a series of detailed portraits. My work often features a high level of detail, but I enjoy working on images aimed at children and thinking of new, more child appropriate ways to visually express a narrative. I’m currently in my second year of an illustration degree at The Arts University Bournemouth, and I feel that my course has really enabled me to explore my practice and provided me with encouragement and inspiration from tutors and fellow students. At the moment I’m embarking on a collaborative stop motion animation with a classmate of mine, and exhibiting my work at various venues. I look forward to the new challenges the future holds!”